Why become a volunteer?
Without our volunteers, the Wildlife Aid Foundation (based in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK) could not continue to care for the animals that need our help. If you feel strongly about the future of British wildlife, if you just love all animals or even if it’s just because you have some free time and want to work with a group of friendly, dedicated group and like-minded people, then why not become a volunteer?
You don’t need any special skills to help out at the centre (based in Leatherhead in Surrey) – just a few hours a week on a regular basis. We have volunteers of all ages, levels of experience and background. You do not need to be a wildlife expert – we will give you full training and support – but you do need to be someone who cares and is willing to make a commitment to coming in on a regular basis. Sorry, but we do not take on short-term volunteers; a commitment of at least 6 months would be ideal due to the training involved.
Being a volunteer at The Wildlife Aid Foundation is a commitment to helping the charity carry out its valuable work. Alongside the animal care duties, volunteers regularly get involved in fundraising events, talks at local schools and organisations, and helping with the administrative side of the charity. Some of our volunteers help with PR & Marketing, some offer their services to collect injured animals from around the county – there are opportunities for everyone.
How does it work?
As the centre in Leatherhead is run entirely by volunteers, we rely heavily on a regular commitment to ensure we always have enough people in each day to look after all the animals in our care. We are open 7 days a week, and each day is divided into 3 shifts: Morning (9am – 1pm), Afternoon (1pm – 6pm) and Evening (6pm – 10pm). Volunteers opt for a regular shift, which they attend every week at the same time. Weekend shifts can be weekly or fortnightly.
If you would like to become a Wildlife Aid volunteer, and can easily get to our centre in Leatherhead, please fill in the application form at the bottom of this page, and we will be in touch to discuss our current opportunities.
Please note the following:
1. Applications can only be accepted from over 18’s please
2. Please be patient when submitting an application! We only have a small admin team. You should receive a reply within 10 working days.
3. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we do need to communicate by email for the application process, and ongoing, simply due to a lack of resources in our admin. department. Please email us with all your questions, and we will our best to get back to you in a timely fashion!
4. As a small charity we are unable to offer accommodation for volunteers travelling from overseas.
5. Sorry, but we can only offer internships to qualified Veterinary Nurses or Veterinary Surgeons
What positions are available?
General Assistant – all duties – minimum commitment: 1 shift per week
- Animal care: cleaning and feeding of animals at the centre.
- Setting up pens and cages for new admissions
- Restocking food supplies for all areas of the hospital and advising of any shortages
- Helping to move animals from one area to another as they progress with their rehabilitation
- Being available to help veterinary staff with jobs
- General maintenance of the centre – tidying, cleaning, painting, weeding etc
Receptionist administrators – minimum commitment: 1 shift per week
Based on the busy hospital reception desk, this public-facing role will involve:
- Booking in patients at the busy reception desk
- Taking incoming telephone calls and giving advice to the general public
- Organising rescues for injured wildlife that need to be attended to at the scene
- Entering all admissions onto our database (full training given)
- Encouraging donations and memberships from the public bringing in animals to us
- General running of a very busy reception desk and administrative support to the main admin. office
Full training will be given; however applicants should have a good standard of literacy & numeracy, and should be able to demonstrate good customer service skills. Attention to detail is very important, and any previous customer service or reception experience would be ideal but not essential.
Centre maintenance and housekeeping
An afternoon shift, available 7 days a week, this role is less hand-on with the animals and focuses more on keeping the centre running. From re-filling and ordering food supplies to cleaning out cages, from re-fuelling the ambulance to fixing a broken perch, this role is for a practical, physically fit person. You will definitely get involved with the animals as well; there are always times when we are short-staffed and you will help out in ICU, and we often need animals released back to the wild, so if you have a clean driving license you would be assisting with one of the best bits – releases!!
Choose ‘Centre Maintenance’ from the drop down list on the application form and we’ll get you in for an induction.
Volunteer Vets/Veterinary Nurses
Are you a qualified Veterinary Nurse or Veterinary Surgeon who would like the opportunity of working on the wild side of the veterinary world?
We are offering a unique learning experience for those keen to get to grips with the treatment of wildlife, from its initial assessment to rehabilitation.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation, home of TV’s ‘Wildlife SOS’, is very pleased to be able to offer voluntary work placements to vets and vet nurses for short or long periods of time. This can be a regular commitment – hopefully, at least once a week, long term, or just one or two week’s work experience in our busy hospital for you to gain experience working alongside our current veterinary team. This is a very rewarding position and a great opportunity to gain experience with British Wildlife. You will receive full training from our Vet team with a wide variety of wild species, giving you hands-on experience in how to triage, treat and rehab wild animals.
If you are interested, then please do send a letter with a copy of your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with more information.
Work Experience Placements
Schools and colleges around the country send students to The Wildlife Aid Foundation every year, and students find the hands on experience of working with our patients very useful as an accompaniment to their studies.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation offers Work Experience placements between April and September each year. Placements are not offered during the winter months as the hospital is very quiet during these months and learning potential would be greatly reduced.
Students will become involved in the day to day running of the hospital, with the cleaning and feeding that accompanies the ongoing animal care and welfare that we offer. Please note this is not a clinical placement.
Our placements consist of 5 days work experience over a 7 day period, with some students working one day at the weekend as the hospital is open 7 days a week. The weekend day will be advised in plenty of time, and will be at the end of the placement week (i.e. all weeks start on a Monday, and will finish on a Sunday, with two days off during that period). Usual hours will be from 9am – 5pm, with an hour for lunch.
If you wish to reserve a placement, please click here to complete an application form. Choose “Work Experience” from the drop down menu.
Please note that we ask for a payment of £30 for each week to cover our admin and insurance costs and all students must be over the age of 16 when they start their placement. Sorry, but we are unable to assist with accommodation for students.
Any questions? Please email: email@example.com
University Industrial Placements
University students needing professional placements: we offer an all-round placement for the academic year, encompassing animal care, reception & admin, marketing and fundraising, and all aspects of running a wildlife charity. Hours to suit; generally 5 days a week, although more available if needed! Please note this is an unpaid role.
A full job description is available here. If you wish to apply for academic year starting October 2017 please send your CV and a covering letter, explaining why working at WAF would benefit your studies to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications for the academic year starting 1st October is 31st May.
For Universities: a poster displaying the vacancy is available; please email email@example.com for further information
Any questions? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Duke of Edinburgh
Unfortunately, due to time and resource constraints, we are unable to take volunteers as part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
As a charity we are continually looking for new ways to generate funds to keep the centre running. These roles would generally be home-based, attending events when necessary, so if this is your area of expertise, please email email@example.com directly.
School & Group Talks
Are you confident talking in front of a group of people? Once you have some experience here, why not help us with our educational programme by giving talks on behalf of the Wildlife Aid Foundation? We receive many requests throughout the year from local schools and community organisations, who would like to know more about the work that we do. We have a fantastic PowerPoint presentation, which caters for all age groups. If this is something you would like to get involved with, please get in touch.
If you would like to volunteer at the centre in Leatherhead (Surrey) please click here for the Volunteer Application Form
Looking for an internship in our hospital?
Currently we are only able to offer voluntary internships to qualified Veterinary Nurses or Veterinary Surgeons. If suitably qualified, please click here for further information and contact details. Please note, this internship is a voluntary position and not paid.
If your qualification is not in this field then regretfully we cannot offer you an internship at The Wildlife Aid Foundation at the current time.
However, please consider becoming a regular volunteer, as you will get plenty of hands-on experience in dealing with day-to-day animal care and feeding regimes. Click here to fill in an application form.
We also offer work experience placements, click here to find out more.